Choosing a Qualification Type.

Definition of qualification types

Level 3 and Level 4 qualification learners, having chosen a learning level, need to consider what qualification type (best thought of as the desired quantity of knowledge) they would like to study to.

Level 5 learners should start with the Certificate & may top-up to Diploma later on.

Generally, there are three qualification types to choose from. Put simply they are:

  • Award (a basic range of the subject areas to be studied)
  • Certificate (a broad range of the subject areas to be studied)
  • Diploma (a comprehensive range of the subject areas to be studied)

Learners may start at any point they so wish; whether straight in at a Diploma, or build up to this by starting at Award or Certificate, achieving each at a time that suits their learning plans.

Briefly, given below is an overview of the three types.


Somebody who is new to leadership or supervisory management is advised to start with an Award. This will develop an understanding and knowledge in a basic range of the subject areas.


Somebody with some experience in their role may wish to start at a Certificate (a broad range of the subject areas to be studied) and 'top up' later to gain the Diploma.

Please note: Learners may join the Certificate directly and are not required to undertake the Award as a prerequisite.


Those who wish to learn in order to fully develop their role, or those who have been in their role for some time and who wish to consolidate their learning, are likely to find studying for a Diploma to be the most fulfilling. The Diploma in Facilities Management develops a comprehensive range of facilities management skills alongside key leadership and management skills.

Please note: There is no need to necessarily have studied an Award or Certificate in order to gain a Diploma, as this could be the first chosen learning step.